Bharti Airtel has been recognized as the African Operator of the Year at the CommsMEA Awards 2013 held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai and attended by 300 executives including telecoms CEOs, vendors, ministers and regulators..
Airtel beat strong contenders on the shortlist, which were the MTN Group, Vodacom and Nedjma, Airtel to win the award that recognizes excellence within the telecoms sector across the Middle East and Africa. Commenting on the achievement Bharti Airtel managing director Manoj Kohli said the company has in the past few years invested in Data and voice which are seeing increased demand and thus consolidated its position as the front runner in the region.
"We are humbled by this recognition and the trust that the international industry panel, consumers and other stakeholders have placed on Airtel since our entry into Africa in 2010. During the past three years, we have managed to serve more communities within the countries that we operate in and hopefully change their lives through not only the voice but also the data and mobile commerce services that we provide. The latter are increasingly becoming essential in Africa." He said. According to Airtel a number of factors were responsible for the award including its data coverage that makes it the largest provider of 3G in Africa as well as the mobile money service that is now available in 17 countries with over 100,000 agent locations.
Airtel adds that the awards affirms recent findings by the African Business Magazine that ranked the operator as among Africa's top 10 most admired global brands. The winners were decided from a record number of nominations by a judging panel consisting of Akshay Lamba, chief architect and head of IT strategy at MTS; Milan Sallaba, managing director at Accenture Middle East; Erik Almqvist, partner and global head of operational consulting, Analysys Mason; Mark Kremers, partner, Oliver Wyman; Riad Hartani, partner at Xona, and Alan Horne, CEO Broadband Pioneer and Special Advisor to Global eHealth Foundation. .